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T.P. Varadaraja Mudaliar Vs. Kannammal and ors. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectProperty;Civil
CourtChennai High Court
Decided On
Reported in(1967)2MLJ57
AppellantT.P. Varadaraja Mudaliar
RespondentKannammal and ors.
Cases ReferredPichuvier v. Perumal Konan
Excerpt:
- - 76 of 1962 failed......by a court before which the suit was filed but which had no jurisdiction to entertain that suit. the decision in pichuvier v. perumal konan (1912) m.w.n. 163., seems to be directly in point with regard to the present case. that was a case where the question was whether the civil court can deal with a suit relating to the question as to who was entitled to compensation for the land acquired under the land acquisition act in respect of which provision is made in sections 30 and 31 of that act. the matter was before the court concerned under sections 30 and 31 of the act. but the parties agreed that the matter may be decided by a separate suit and when such a suit was filed, one of the parties who had earlier agreed to have the matter decided in a separate suit raised objection to.....
Judgment:

A. Alagiriswami, J.

1. This is a petition to revise the order of the learned Subordinate Judge, Vellore, in C.M.A. No. 76 of 1962. The petitioner filed O.S. No. 132 of 1961 on the file of the District Munsif's Court, Ranipet. That plaint was returned for presentation to the Estates Abolition Tribunal, Vellore, and an appeal against that order to the learned Subordinate Judge, Vellore, in C.M.A. No. 76 of 1962 failed.

2. Shortriem Seniyanallur Village in Cheyyar Taluk was sold by one Punyakoti Mudaliar to his wife Thripurasundariammal. Subsequently, that Shortriem estate was notified and taken over by the Government under the provisions of the Madras Estates Abolition Act. Before the Estates Abolition Tribunal, Thripurasundariammal's daughters, who are respondents 1 and 2 herein, claimed the compensation money deposited in respect of that estate as belonging to them on the ground that the property was the Stridhana property of their mother. The present petitioner and his two other brothers, including the present third respondent, were parties before the Tribunal. In these proceedings the parties made an endorsement as. follows:

All parties agree that this petition may be allowed and the petitioner and the first respondent may each be declared their half share each. This is subject to the fourth respondent declaring his rights and title to the property acquired in appropriate proceedings on the basis that the sale deed executed by Punyakoti Mudaliar in favour of his wife, Thripurasundariammal, was benami for the fourth respondent.

3. It should be mentioned that the 4th respondent is the present petitioner, and the petitioner and the first respondent therein are the present respondents 1 and 2. Thereafter the present petitioner filed the suit above referred to. The present respondents 1 and 2 contended that the civil Court had no jurisdiction and this contention was upheld by the learned District Munsif as also the learned Subordinate Judge of Vellore on appeal.

4. It is contended by the petitioner that the present respondents 1 and 2 having agreed before the Tribunal that the present petitioner should establish his rights to the compensation amount in appropriate proceedings, it is not open to them now to raise the contention that the civil Court has no jurisdiction. In support of this contention, the petitioner relies upon the decision in Pichuvier v. Perumal Konan (1912) M.W.N. 163. It is contended by the respondents that what has been ordered by the Courts below is only that the suit should really be presented as a petition before the Estates Abolition Tribunal as the civil Court will have no jurisdiction to try a suit of this kind, that the parties would not raise any objection to the Tribunal dealing with and deciding this question and the Tribunal cannot shirk the responsibility of doing it. In support of this contention the respondents rely upon the decision reported in Trustee, T.T. Devasthanam v. Panckaksharam (1959) 1 An.W.R. 69.That was a case where the Tribunal directed the parties to establish their rights in a civil Court about a matter in dispute before it. The High Court held that the Tribunal had to decide that question however difficult it may be and it cannot refer the parties to a civil Court. The respondents also relied upon the decision in Desikacharyulu v. State of A.P. : AIR1964SC807 , to hold that the civil Court will have no jurisdiction to deal with or decide a question for which a specific provision is made in the Act. There is no doubt that Section 42 of the Madras Estates Abolition Act does make specific provision even for dealing with a case where the question is, who is the landholder entitled to the compensation in respect of an estate which has been taken over by the Government. The position is, of course, not disputed by the petitioner. But what is contended by the petitioner is that having agreed to have the question in dispute to be decided in appropriate proceedings, which, in the circumstances of the case, could only mean a decision by a civil Court, it is not open to the present respondent to question the jurisdiction of the civil Court, when a suit is filed before it as contemplated by the parties at the time the endorsement was made by them before the Tribunal.

5. The respondents refer to the decision of the Privy Council in Ledgard v. Bull (1887) I.L.R. 9 All. 191 (P.C.): L.R. 13 IndAp 134, and contend that parties by consent cannot confer jurisdiction upon a Court which does not have jurisdiction to entertain and decide a suit. That decision related to an order to transfer by a Court before which the suit was filed but which had no jurisdiction to entertain that suit. The decision in Pichuvier v. Perumal Konan (1912) M.W.N. 163., seems to be directly in point with regard to the present case. That was a case where the question was whether the civil Court can deal with a suit relating to the question as to who was entitled to compensation for the land acquired under the Land Acquisition Act in respect of which provision is made in Sections 30 and 31 of that Act. The matter was before the Court concerned under Sections 30 and 31 of the Act. But the parties agreed that the matter may be decided by a separate suit and when such a suit was filed, one of the parties who had earlier agreed to have the matter decided in a separate suit raised objection to the maintainability of the suit. The Division Bench held that he could not do so observing as follows:

The only other point raised is that the District Court along has jurisdiction to decide the question of apportionment of compensation money and the Munsif's Court has therefore no jurisdiction to entertain the suit. The District Court's order was passed by consent and no proceedings were taken by either party to impeach it. We are of opinion that the defendants cannot attack it collaterally in defence to this suit. The District Judge's order cannot be regarded as so utterly void as to permit them to do so. The Munsif's Court is not wanting in inherent jurisdiction to try a suit for the determination of the right to money awarded as compensation under the Land Acquisition Act. Both parties having consented to the Judge's order, which Was in fact suggested by the defendants they must be regarded as estopped from questioning the District Munsif's jurisdiction.

6. Following this decision, I hold that the Munsif's Court has jurisdiction in this case. The result in this Civil Revision Petition is allowed and the Court of the District Munsif would take the suit on file and dispose of it on merits. No costs.


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